She’s charismatic and her challenges to western orthodoxy are welcome, but Sampa needs to find a fresher sonic palette
Over the past decade, hip-hop has relaxed its borders – welcoming in a flood of new styles, characters and concepts. One thing that still unites most rappers, however, is braggadocio; the aggressive, occasionally tiresome boasting that stems from rap’s battle past. As a Zambia-born, Botswana-raised, Australia-based woman, Sampa Tembo belongs firmly in rap’s inclusive modern age – but as her moniker suggests, she’s no stranger to a spot of rampant egotism. “I’m boutta blow up soon / I ain’t wasting time chilling with you”, she crows on Grass Is Greener, before describing herself in more biblically bombastic terms – as “The end / Beginning and on / and on” – over the intricate percussion of Dare to Fly.